Originally Posted by dgu
Of course, all of y'all are probably far more experienced than I am and already have that focus, so don't fall, and ill sign off while im ahead...
Actually, don't sell yourself short because risk taking is all relavant, and does not necessarily lend itself toward a particular skill level. Of course a skier who is a skill level or two above where you or I might be right now is going to be able to take risks that would send us to our graves (via heart attack), but it is likely "not that big of a deal" to that skier. Likewise as one progresses - risky situations become less and less - but when you do take a risk - the danger becomes much more apparent.
I often ski with guys who are twice my age. They can handle just about any terrain that you put them on, but they skip things like cliffs and such - that even some less skilled, younger skiers are willing to take a stab at. I think that you can take risks at any skill level and have the focus and strength of mind to "pull it off" even if the task is just jumping from skiing a green trail to skiing a black diamond trail. Technique aside, as the skier progreses they might be able to jump from a black diamond to a double black ungroomed, cliff nightmare just because they remain calm and trust their skills in those situations - where even a more skilled skier would throw in the towel (or be left more uneasy) for fear of injuring themselves.
I can assure that just about any skill level that a skier is at is going to involve falling if they are trying to push (or even try new things) themselves at a reasonable to high pace. One of my worst falls out of all of last season came when I was trying something new for my transitions. I did it wrong and ate it hard (really hard). I had a concussion and whiplash for about a week... and didn't ski again for about 3 or 4 days... I walked away from it but I was lucky.
One bit of advice I have for those who are having really bad falls is to let them happen. The more you fight them the worse they hurt. Yes they are going to hurt anyway, but if you fight them you usually come out with an injury. Those who can keep their composure when death seems almost certain (even if it isn't close but feels like it at the time), are the ones who walk away with minimal injuries. The ones who freeze up and fight the fall, or contort their bodies to try to minimalize the impact are the ones that get the sled ride. The best way to get used to falling?: Do it alot.